Tempt My Tummy Tuesday - How to Cook the Perfect Country Ham
I promised last week that I would post how I cooked my country ham, and I figured that Tempt My Tummy Tuesday would be the perfect day to do it.
I grew up in a very small country town, and worked at the grocery store in town. It's one of those cute little stores with a meat counter that serves plate lunches, and still has a butcher. I learned how to cook country ham by working here, and was taught by one of the best cooks around an 85 year old man who wouldn't even let cancer keep him at home in bed, he always made it to work. At Christmas time he would cook country hams for people, and would always have to stop taking orders to cook hams because we just simply had way too many orders. It was nothing for us to have eight to ten broilers going at the same time.
Here's what you want to do:
1. Put two to three inches of water in the bottom of your broiler. You want enough water to keep the ham moist but you do not want it touching the ham.
2. Place ham in the broiler, and cook at 350 degrees. You will want to cook it until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees at the deepest part of the meat. This will take several hours to do (think 5 to 6 hours).
3. Once the ham has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees you will want to remove it from the broiler immediately.
Be forewarned, these next steps will be messy and you will need help.
4. As soon as the ham is removed take a knife and remove the bone from the ham, when doing this be sure to cut the ham in the spot closest to the bone.
5. As soon as the bone is out of the ham wrap the ham tightly in saran wrap. This is a very important step and this is where you will need help. Be very sure that you wrap it extremely tight! Do not cheap out here either, be sure to buy the brand name saran wrap, as the generic will not hold the ham as tight as it needs to be here. By the way....can you tell I bought the colored holiday saran wrap by accident?
6. As soon as your ham is wrapped place it in the refrigerator. Yes, I know this doesn't sound right but take my word for it put it in the refrigerator while it's still hot.
7. Let the ham sit in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days before cutting. The juices and the saran wrap will heal the cut you made in the ham earlier to remove the bone.